Earlier this year, the wrestling world buzzed about reported talks between WWE and NJPW. At the time, NJPW had already started working with AEW, as KENTA, among other stars, walked through the Forbidden Door and competed in an AEW ring. The discussions between WWE and NJPW reportedly centered around bringing Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson) over to Japan, a possibility that excited many fans until the talks ultimately fell through.
During a recent appearance on the Battleground Podcast, Romero, one of the most influential figures behind the scenes in NJPW’s relationships with other promotions, discussed the company’s talks with WWE. He confirmed that WWE “reached out” to NJPW and acknowledged Danielson’s role in these discussions.
“I don’t really know how much I can actually say, but I can say that definitely they reached out, you know, definitely, WWE reached out, as they do every X amount of years, I feel like they reach out, yeah,” said Romero. “So I mean obviously, like Danielson being in the middle of that, you know, was no secret, and it was no secret to Tony [Khan] either, you know, or AEW. So obviously Tony was, and part of that too, once Bryan was completely free and clear to make those talks with him.
“So yeah, I mean, like there was, a lot of people talk, you know what I’m saying? I wouldn’t go so far to saying there was ever gonna be a deal made [with WWE] or anything like that. It’s just like you know, WWE comes knocking on the door and they want to talk, you’re gonna, like people are gonna listen to what they have to say.”
Romero then noted that, for NJPW, working with AEW is more appealing because the company clearly respects and understands New Japan’s product and its illustrious history. He also acknowledged the inherent connection between the two companies, given the way Kenny Omega, Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks starred in NJPW before they launched AEW.
“But I mean obviously working with AEW versus working with WWE is two completely different things, you know, where AEW, they have a true understanding of New Japan and what the product is and have a complete respect for the history of the product, for what the product is, for the wrestlers and how they do it,” said Romero. “I mean obviously because New Japan wrestlers kind of leaving New Japan helped to start AEW, right, so there’s always been that crossover connection.”
Looking forward, Romero emphasized the long-term nature of the collaboration between AEW and NJPW by stating that what fans have seen so far is “just the beginning.”
“So it just seems to make sense in the grand scheme of things with both companies working together,” said Romero. “I think it’s even, obviously it’s just been the beginning of it, and I think that this is gonna be a, like the Hangman Page/Kenny Omega feud, this is gonna be a long-term thing. So I think people are excited, of course, and they’re ready for like [Kazuchika] Okada to show up and fight Kenny at Full Gear or something. But like I think this is gonna be a long-term thing because both companies are building themselves up right now.”
The full interview is available here: